Club praised for Good Sport commitment

Healthy help: The Esperance Tennis Club has been recognised after introducing a range of healthy living initiatives. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Healthy help: The Esperance Tennis Club has been recognised after introducing a range of healthy living initiatives. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

The Esperance Tennis Club has been recognised for its commitment to building a healthier and more inclusive junior sports environment.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation commended the club for its work through the Good Sports Junior Program.

Good Sports Junior aims to build on the success of the foundation's Good Sports program, which is the largest preventative health initiative in community sport in Australia.

The tennis club has implemented initiatives around healthy eating, tobacco, alcohol, and positive spectator behaviour.

Coach Darren Foss said he was proud to see the club be part of the Good Sports Junior Program.

"The club joined up with Good Sports because we believe in healthy active living and educating our juniors," Mr Foss said.

"The future really is in the hands of our younger generation.

"We believe it needs to start at a grassroots level so others in the community can follow our lead."

Alcohol and Drug Foundation chief executive officer Dr Erin Lalor described the club as a community champion.

"By implementing a number of Good Sports Junior policies, the club is showing true leadership and that it really cares about the health and wellbeing of its younger players," Dr Lalor said.

"Juniors are influenced by what they see and hear in social settings, so it's critical for sporting clubs to role model positive and healthy behaviours, as these behaviours can be adopted by young players and carried into their adulthood."

The program is supported through the nib Foundation.

Foundation executive officer Amy Tribe said with more than 60 per cent of Australian children participating in at least one organised sport outside of school hours, community sporting clubs had a key role in encouraging healthier behaviours.

"The health, fitness and social benefits of participating in sport are invaluable, and there is enormous opportunity for community sports clubs to also foster healthier off-field behaviours," Mrs Tribe said.

Across Australia, more than 700 clubs have become part of the Good Sports Junior program.

Dr Lalor said community sporting clubs had become healthier and more family-friendly due to Good Sports and invited more clubs to join the program.

"We know running a community sporting club is hard work," she said.

"That's why the Good Sports team is committed to guiding clubs through the Good Sports program, making it easier for already busy volunteers to implement."

For more information about Good Sports and Good Sports Junior visit www.goodsports.com.au.